I’ve begun a Wednesday weekly post to present interviews with authors across all romance genres. Although I’m primarily an historical romance writer, I do read outside my genre and suspect a lot of you do as well. And what’s more fascinating than finding out more about either your favorite authors or new ones? I plan to change up my questions (most of them at least) every three months or so, just to keep the interviews lively.
So now gather round the tea table, grab a scone or cookies, and a cup of tea or coffee and discover a new friend in the writing world.
This week on Be My Guest, I am welcoming one of my favorite non-historical authors, Cara Bristol. I’ve been reading Cara’s books for years–we met through Six Sentence Sunday and are both part of Weekend Writing Warriors–but her snippet were so intriguing I’ve bought and read several of them. They were some of the best beach reads I’ve had and I look forward to some time this summer with her new Cyborg series.
Now, without further ado, please meet my guest!
USA Today bestselling author Cara Bristol has been the no. 1 best seller in science fiction romance, bdsm erotica, and holiday fiction on Amazon. She’s the author of two science fiction romance series featuring tough alpha heroes: the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance cyborg series and the Breeder science fiction romance series, which emphasize character-driven stories written with a touch of humor and sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara lives in Missouri with her own alpha hero, her husband.
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Cara-Bristol-Romance-178661122147994/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Cara-Bristol/e/B004D8KZTQ/
Twitter, @CaraBristol: https://twitter.com/CaraBristol
Hi, Cara! So nice of you to come by today. It’s so good to finally meet you!
I’m sure your fans and my readers both want to get down to the nitty-gritty and find out a bit more about you. Although I’ve read your books, I can’t say that I know you as well as I’d like to. Which is why I’m so glad to have you sit down with me today and get to know you.
First of all, who was the first romance author and book you read?
I have read so many romances in my life, I can’t remember when I started, but Devil’s Desire by Laurie McBain stands out in my mind. I read it as a teenager and I loved it. I read the entire book multiple times and the sexy scenes too many times to count!
Who would you say has been the greatest influence on your writing?
Stephen King for his plotting, Lora Leigh and Shayla Black for turning me onto erotic romance, and Eve Langlais for making me fall in love with cyborg.
Here’s a tougher one. Which of your own books is your favorite and why?
Which of my babies do I like the best?! I can’t pick one, but I can narrow it down to a few: Stolen Moments is a fun, light romantic comedy about what it’s like to be a romance author. Captured by the Cyborg has a really unique heroine. Everything has been done under the sun, but I think I created an attribute for Illumina that no other author ever has. Finally,Claimed by the Cyborg is the most romantic of all the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance books. One of my author friends compared it to Romeo and Juliet.
Hopefully without the tragic ending! I loved Stolen Moments! And am getting ready to start Claimed by the Cyborg as soon as I can squeeze in a moment.
Steering away from books for a minute, what is your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving. It’s a holiday everyone can participate in, yet it’s uncommercial, simple, and meaningful. It brings family and friends together.
If you could have one wish granted just for you (not world peace, LOL), what would you wish for?
I love writing romance, and I have the career I always dreamed of. But, if I could have one wild, crazy wish, it would be to hit it really big, like Harry Potter big, or Fifty Shades of Grey big.
I feel you there, Cara. Although I’d like to hit it that big just so I could quit my day job and write full time. Someday!
So, what is your biggest regret?
That I didn’t take more risks. I played it too safe. I should have been much bolder.
Again I sympathize. I could have made bolder choices as well.
Do you have any hobbies/passions outside of writing?
Writing is my great passion, but my hobby is traveling. My husband and I have traveled all over the world. My two favorite places are Italy and China. I also love to read.
China! Wow! And Italy is somewhere I’d love to go as well. Traveling is a great hobby to have.
Who is your favorite non-romance genre author? What is your favorite book of theirs?
Probably Nelson DeMille, and my favorite book is Gold Coast, about an attorney whose wife is from high society/old money. They’re upstanding citizens until a mafia guy moves in next door, and they gradually get sucked into criminal activity. The plotting is excellent, and DeMille is quite witty.
What was your inspiration for Claimed by the Cyborg?
The series came about because I fell in love with cyborgs. They are the ultimate alpha males. But I didn’t just want literary heroes, I wanted true heroes: brave men who risk their lives to save others. So my cyborgs fight against terrorism. The series tagline is “Saving the girl and the galaxy one mission at a time.” The inspiration for Claimed by the Cyborg came when I was writing another book in the series, Married to the Cyborg (the freebie given to my newsletter subscribers). A minor character mentions to the heroine she’s getting married – but she doesn’t get to meet the man until the day of the bonding ceremony. Say what??? That became the basis for Claimed by the Cyborg.
As some people might tell you, I am a fanatic about my character names. Are the character names in your book special in any way?
Yes! All the hero names in the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series are symbolic. Many people don’t know what a cyborg is, they think he’s a robot. He’s not. A cyborg is a human being who has some mechanical and/or computer parts, like the Six Million Dollar Man. To emphasize that my cyborg heroes are human, they all have names that mean “man” Brock Mann, Kai Andros, Dale Homme, Sonny Masters, March Fellows. The only cyborg who doesn’t have a man name is Carter Aymes, and that’s because he wasn’t a cyborg when the series started.
Wonderful idea, Cara! I love that bit of symbolism!
Now, the Infamous Lightning Round: (Choose 5-6 of the questions below)
What is your favorite amusement park ride? The Matterhorn at Disneyland.
Beach or mountains? Beach.
Blond, brunette or redhead? (preferred men’s hair color) Brunette.
Would you rather vacation in Hawaii, Vegas or London? London.
What’s the one thing you would never do? Get a tattoo.
Whew! That was quite a round! And I must admit, the last answer was the one that surprised me the most. You always struck me as someone who would be into that trend. See, I really did learn about you in this interview!
Here’s the blurb for Claimed by the Cyborg, which is currently available on Amazon!
He lost her once. He won’t let it happen again.
March Fellows assumed he had all the time in the galaxy to pursue a relationship with Jules, an alien exchange student from Xenia, until she vanished without a trace. After years of searching, he finds his lost love on the eve of her arranged marriage.
The daughter of the Xenian emperor, Julietta never meant to fall in love with a Terran man while visiting Earth. Leaving to fulfill her responsibilities on her home planet opened up a hole in her heart that could never be filled. When March, now a cyborg, unexpectedly shows up just before she is to be bonded, she struggles to find the courage to turn him away a second time and follow through with her duty. Before she can act, the lovers are thrust into a political conspiracy that threatens the Xenian empire and their lives.
March gaped at the woman who’d entered the hall, her arm linked with a girl’s. Hair, long and curly, tumbled down her back. Her eyes were as he remembered, as black and enigmatic as space, but girlish features had matured into womanliness. Jules. My Jules. Her gaze collided with his, the darkness concealing her thoughts, but her mouth parted as if shocked. If he hadn’t been seated, the sight of her would have knocked him on his ass. His hands shook, and he clenched them into fists to quell the trembling.
He’d searched, questioned everyone who’d known her, revisited all their haunts. So much time, so much effort, and she just walked in. Of all the places, in all the years, she was here. He couldn’t believe it. A guest at the ceremony. The practiced words he’d imagined he’d say if he located her evaporated, and all he could do was drink her in.
She’d never looked more beautiful. Dignified, refined, polished. Not haughty, but self-contained. Intricate whorls adorned her face, enhancing her exotic allure. She wore the tunic and pantaloons common to Xenia, the design and tailoring of hers nonpareil, surpassing elegance, but in the same color as the garments of members of the imperial family. She must be one of the many attendants. A relative maybe? Cousin to the bride? Obviously, she knew the imperial family well, or she wouldn’t be at the banquet.
Which would begin at any moment. Damn it! He couldn’t talk to her now. Jules moved, almost as if to step in his direction, but the younger woman herded her to two open seats at the other end of the long banquet table.
At the next opportunity, he would approach her. His heart hammered. The twins probably knew her. He turned to Naimo to ask him, when Kur spoke.
“There’s your chosen! Princess Julietta is looking at you, Naimo.” He gestured in Jules’s direction. “She’s checking you out!”
March shifted his attention to the girl who’d accompanied Jules. She couldn’t be more than fifteen or sixteen. She was a little young to be bonded, wasn’t she?
Naimo took a deep, satisfied-sounding breath. “She is even lovelier with the bonding stain painted on her face. Her vids don’t do her justice.”
The younger woman’s face was clear, unmarked. His gaze zoomed to Jules, to the spiraling whorls gracing her temples, her cheeks.
No. No. No.
“The woman with the facial paint is your chosen?” His voice came out a whispered croak. “That’s Princess Julietta?” His Jules was Emperor Dusan’s daughter? No.
“The one and only.” Naimo beamed.
Next Wednesday I’ve got another hot, hot author as my guest. Daryl Devore has been a friend and collegue for years through our online writers’ group, Romance Critters. We’ve been published by the house, and have been very supportive of one another when the going got tough. She’s got a brand new book just out that I’m sure you’ll love as much as I do (well, I’m reading it now and will certainly have finished by the time next week rolls around. Hope you plan to come back for more!